Youth football injuries on the rise: study

April 13, 2011

Columbus, OH – Between 1990 and 2007, the number of children treated in emergency rooms for football-related injuries increased 27 percent, finds a study released April 12 by the Center for Injury Research and Policy of the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

According to a study abstract, in 2007, emergency rooms treated 346,772 football-related injuries among children 6-17 years old, which amounts to nearly 2,000 injuries per day during football season. The most common injuries were sprains and strains (31 percent), fractures and dislocations (28 percent), and soft tissue injuries (24 percent).

Teen football players suffered 78 percent of injuries overall, and were more susceptible to concussions than younger children, the study said. “Prevention and treatment of concussions are the focus of many discussions at every level of play – from the junior level all the way up to the National Football League,” said study co-author Lara McKenzie. “Every day during football season, an average of fifty-seven 6- to 17-year-olds are treated in U.S. emergency departments for football-related concussions. The potential long-term consequences of this type of injury make this an unacceptably high number.”

The study was published in Clinical Pediatrics.